Link to full article by CNN
Obama sketches out recovery plan
President-elect says he wants to double renewable energy production, rebuild roads and schools and cut taxes. Next step: Consulting with Congress.
By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writer
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday offered the most detailed statement yet of his economic recovery plan, sketching out broad-based spending proposals and tax incentives aimed at reviving an economy mired in recession.
In his weekly radio and video address describing what he called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, Obama spelled out five main goals. He said his plan proposes to:
• double renewable energy production and make public buildings more energy efficient;
• rebuild crumbling roads, bridges and schools;
• computerize the health care system
• modernize classrooms, labs and libraries;
• and provide tax breaks to American workers.
"Economists from across the political spectrum agree that if we don't act swiftly and boldly, we could see a much deeper economic downturn," Obama said. "That's why we need an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that not only creates jobs in the short-term but spurs economic growth and competitiveness in the long-term."
The main goal of his plan: to create 3 million new jobs. Most would come from the private sector, he said.
As Obama prepares to take office on Jan. 20, the country faces a series of severe economic and political challenges.
Nearly 2 million jobs were lost in the first 11 months of 2008 - the final government reading on the employment picture will be released on Friday - and the economy has stagnated. Investors suffered the worst year in stocks since the Great Depression, and foreclosures are rising while housing values are declining at record paces.
Virtually every state is facing a budget shortfall, forcing many to make plans to cut back on critical services and raise taxes.
To that end, Obama's advisers and lawmakers have said they expect his legislation to provide increased aid to states to pay for Medicaid, as well as a boost to unemployment benefits and food stamps. However, he didn't mention it in his address on Saturday.
Obama's video address did not attach an estimated price tag to his proposal, but his advisers have said publicly they expect the size of the spending package to range between $675 billion and $775 billion.
This is a fine example of less than honest and sub-elementary school level thinking on two fronts:
The first is in the area of basic math. If our problem is that we are too much in debt and don’t have enough money, how does spending more while cutting taxes help that situation, exactly?
Ha, ha – that’s right, we’re going to “stimulate” our way out debt! Ho, ho, hardy, har, har – that’s a good one. Look, substitute the word “tax” with the word “income” and you can see that spending more while at the same time cutting your income – while at the same time being up to your eyeballs in debt just isn’t going work out well, math wise. The math underlying our entire economy simply doesn’t work any longer as I spelled out here When the Math No Longer Works..., and here Death by Numbers.
The second failure in being honest is this; if a “civilian” company is started solely to help accomplish the above items for the government using taxpayer dollars, are those jobs that are “created” really private sector jobs?
So everyone knows where this “money” will come from, right? The now proverbial printing presses – that’s correct!
Is it possible to print our way to prosperity? How’s that worked out in the past? Uh, huh… that’s what I thought.
Money for Nothin’ – get your chicks for free?
Naw, the Obama administration are the new “Sultans of Swing!”
Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing:
For those into the weekend music, here’s a terrific classical guitar version by Mark Knopfler: